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Newsletter from 03-29-98
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03-29-98 { Stolar promotion, New Releases, Grandia Review, and more... }

Hello all,

This past week hasn't been a very good one for me as I fractured a carpal bone in my writing hand. As it is immobilized, using a computer is quite difficult and updates at dEX will slow down a little bit until I regain use of my hand (hopefully in 4-6 weeks.) Some said my cast makes my arm look like Cloud Strife's in FF VII... Anyway, on with the news...

First news is that Bernie Stolar has been promoted from COO to President and COO of Sega of America. This promotion puts him in direct contact with his bosses at Sega of Japan. There are two possible causes: The first is that while SoJ leaders were unhappy about his treatment of the Saturn the like what Mr. Stolar has planned for their next console. The next is they they are still mad at him and have no absolute reason to let him go and thus have given him a promotion with which comes greater accountability. See the news area for more details on the promotion...

On the site, a review of GameArt's Grandia has been put up. The game has been out for a while, but its still a great title worthy of praise. It's too bad it will not see the light of day in anything but Japanese.

As for new releases, there were five this past week; all in Japan:

  • Choro Q Park (Takara/Racing)
  • Evangelion: Iron Maiden (Gainax/Adventure)
  • House of the Dead (Sega/Shooting)
  • King of Fighters '97 (SNK/2D-Fighting)
  • Tokimeki Drama Vol. 2 (Konami/Dating Sim)
KoF '97 has been praised as much of an improvement over the port of the '96 version. The sound samples (voices, f/x, etc.) are of higher quality than the '96 port, but still not up to original Neo quality. The animation is quite good, with no slowdown evident. Some animation frames have been left out, but their absence isn't noticeable unless you've played the original a lot. The music is great sounding of course. Arcade perfect in that. Gameplay is unaffected in the port, while load tome hovers between 4-8 seconds. The game also adds an art gallery (ala CDZ version), and also a practice mode. It uses the 1-meg RAM cart..but is compatible with the 4meg as well. Too bad they didn't use the extra ram for better SFX samples or more animation frames.

I haven't read much on the other big release, Sega's House of the Dead. A Japanese magazine, Saturn Fan gave the game an 8/10.

US gamers were to get House of the Dead and Panzer Dragoon Saga this week, but it seems that they have been delayed one month. Now a May 2nd release. In Europe the two games are slated for an April 10th release. In Japan the following games are set for releases this week: Dragon Force II, Kuttu Ketto Battle, Phantasy Star Collection, Sakura Taisen 2, and Wangan Trial Love.

That's all for now...cya!


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